JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Cabinet ignored a suggestion by the environmental protection minister to cut the electricity supply to Gaza rather than have rolling blackouts in Israel.
Gilad Erdan made his suggestion during a Cabinet discussion on Sunday about how to deal with an expected power shortage this summer, when demand for electricity is high.
The Cabinet approved a plan that included allowing the Israel Electric Corp. to use an unlimited amount of highly polluting heavy fuel oil for electricity generation. Erdan’s recommendation was not part of the plan.
Erdan had called on the ministers to add a clause to the emergency energy agreement stipulating that if electricity needs to be temporarily stopped, the blackouts should first take place in Gaza, according to reports.
"Take care of your own needs first," Erdan said. "It’s unreasonable that if there’s an electricity shortage, we’ll cut off the supply to Israelis — but not to Gaza, which we left seven years ago and have no responsibility for."
Israel exports about 4.5 percent of the electricity it generates to the Palestinian Authority, Erdan said.